Each week we select amazing software and browser extensions for your Windows running machine. This week we have tools that can help you change your network’s DNS settings; a nice news reading app for your Windows 8 and 8.1 computer; and an app that replaces the built-in clipboard functionality of Windows.

Software

DNS Jumper 1.0.6 (Type:Free. OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 600 KB)

DNS Jumper

DNS – or Domain Name System is the protocol that converts human-friendly URLs into something which computer can understand. Altering the default DNS settings can help you boost your internet speed, and enhance the security. However, figuring the right settings and implementing such changes to your computer aren’t very easy. DNS Jumper, a light-weight, portable networking tool can help you do that. Since the app alters the default settings, you will be able to access geographic censored content and other blocked and banned sites.

Network Stuff (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 0.5 MB)

network stuff

In order to get complete details of a network we usually have to use a bunch of software and services. One can help us find the number of connected devices in the network, and another one will show the IP address. Network Stuff is a software program that does all the aforementioned tasks and more. You can also look for other network information such as Whois, traceroute and ping using this app.

Cold Turkey (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 1 MB)

Cold Turkey

If you find yourself spending most of your time roaming through sites like Facebook, Twitter or Reddit, meet Cold Turkey, which is here to make your life more productive. The app lets you schedule the time when you will be working, and blocks access to the aforementioned and many more additive sites.

TwinkiePaste 1.00  (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 0.5 MB)

The default built-in Clipboard of Windows has very limited functionality. It can only hold the data that was last copied and keeps no log of past operations. TwinkiePaste is a program that offers you the access to the clipboard history and use the data more conveniently. This tool can come handy if you paste similar string of data over and again.

Weave (Type: Free, OS: Windows 8 and 8.1, Size: 2 MB)

Weave News Reader

The popular news-reading app for Windows Phone, Weave recently rolled out a version for Windows 8 (and, obviously Windows 8.1) as well. Besides regular features that an RSS reader offers, Weave also suggests great sources for several kind of news content.

Medium (Type: Free, OS: Windows 8 and 8.1, Size: 0.7 MB)

medium app for Windows 8

Although Medium has been around for about a year, it wasn’t until recently the new blog spot, and the place that offers high quality content started so much buzz. To add the excitement, a new 3rd party application of it has arrived in the Windows store. Its clean interface, live tiles and support for snap view make it fully optimized for Windows metro look.

Browser Extensions

Script Defender

If you are tired of seeing unwanted adverts and other annoying page elements on webpages, Script Defender is here to make your browsing experience pleasing. Its extension for Chrome blocks all the unwanted scripts that are running on a website. In addition to scripts, you can also use this extension to block plug-ins, iFrames and images.

TabStash

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the option to hide all your running tabs with just a mere click? That’s TabStash for you. The app not only hides those running tabs, it makes them idle as well, so they don’t consume memory and network.

RAM Restart

Speaking of memory, RAM Restart is a handy Firefox add-on that displays some useful information like how much memory the browser and the tab is consuming. Knowing such stats can help you know how much powerful your processor is, and how many tabs you should be running without making your browser or the computer lag.

Rather 

Rather

Don’t you hate it when people spoil the plot of a movie which you haven’t watched? Whether it is a movie spoiler, or annoying sports update, Rather is a Chrome extension that blocks everything you wish not to see on the internet. In addition, you can replace those annoying updates with something that pleases you, could be a website, or pictures of cats.

Software Updates

Mozilla Firefox 25

Thanks to the aggressive update cycle of Firefox, the Firefox 25 is now available to download. The new version brings support for Web Audio and modules for the new coding language HTML5. Another nice fix is the find bar, now it works with each tab separately.

Foxit reader 6.1.1.1031

The popular PDF reading app, and alternative to Adobe Reader, Foxit Reader got an update this week as well. There are some bug fixes as well improvements in UI. The scanning process has been simplified, and signature protection has been introduced. Also, you can highlight areas in the document.

In addition, Google Earth, Internet Download Manager, K-Lite Mega Codec Pack also received minor updates.

Tip of the week: Your PC too has a speech recognition

Speech recognition

While everyone loves Google Now and Siri to give voice commands, not many know that Windows too offers a similar app for PCs. The built in tool is called Speech Recognition and it can be found on the Control Panel. You can use this tool to do various basic operations like opening and closing an application. You can also use it to dictate text content and the word processor will catch write them down.


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Author

Manish is pursuing a degree in Computer Science and Engineering but spends more time in writing about technology. He has written for a number of Indian and international publications including BetaNews, BGR India, WinBeta, MakeTechEasier, MediaNama, and Digit magazine among others. When not writing, you would find him ranting about the state of digital journalism on Twitter.